SEMI Award for North America

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About the SEMI Award

Each year, SEMI publicly recognizes and honors technological and industrial leadership through the SEMI Award North America program. There are two distinctions for the Awards made within this program.

The awards program was established in 1979 to recognize enabling technical contributions by individuals and teams to the microelectronics industry. The enabling technological contributions to the microelectronics industry can be as broad as Integrated Circuit Design, Design for Manufacturability (DFM), new mask manufacturing methods, new device manufacturing architecture and methods and the assembly and test of integrated circuits and microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices.

In 2009, SEMI announced its first significant change by expanding criteria to include outstanding achievements in developing new and emerging technologies expected to have significant future value to the semiconductor industry. This change in criteria broadens the scope of the SEMI Award to recognize technology developments including semiconductors, photovoltaic solar displays and solid state lighting.

The highest honor achievable through the 2,000 member trade organization SEMI, is the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Honor is reserved for those individuals who repeatedly enable and lead the industry, technologically, throughout their professional career. See the following link "SEMI Award for North America recipients list"


Nominations for the Award are submitted by SEMI North America member companies.

To submit a Nomination for 2015, please click 2015 SEM Award for North America Nomination form

Nomination Guidelines

Your nomination will be reviewed and selected by the SEMI Award for North America committee. Nominations for the 2015 SEMI Award for North America must be submitted by August 30, 2015 to be considered.

2014 SEMI Award Recipients

Some innovations become such an integral part of the semiconductor manufacturing industry’s infrastructure that the technology itself becomes fundamental.   The 2014 SEMI Award recognizes two such achievements: the use of anti-reflective coatings in optical lithography and the use of copper for wire bonding. 


Award Recipient: Terry Brewer, Ph.D.,  President, Brewer Science
Contribution:   Invention and commercialization of anti-reflective coatings  used in optical lithography        
Area:           Lithography

 Currently, multi-layer systems are commonly used in optical lithography, with some processes using 5-6 layers, as well as double- or triple-patterning steps, to achieve the necessary resolution. However, in the early 1980s, 1µm was considered the limit for optical lithography and single-layer photoresist suffered from reflections that caused significant variations in critical dimensions. Dr. Terry Brewer invented an anti-reflective coating that was effective in eliminating reflective interference and provided good adhesion to multiple materials and resist. At the time, the introduction of an anti-reflective coating was a radically different approach — adding layers to the single-layer exposure films of lithography. Brewer Science, Inc., founded in 1981, developed and commercialized anti-reflective coating materials that were instrumental in the industry’s progress from g-line to 248nm to 193nm lithography, and now to extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and directed self-assembly (DSA) technology.


Award Recipients: Jason C.S. Chang Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board ASE Group
Tien Wu, Ph.D. Chief Operating Officer ASE Group
Contribution:       Commercialization of copper wire bonds
Area: Assembly and Packaging

Due the expense of gold for wire bonding, the semiconductor industry began exploring alternatives in the 1980s. Yet manufacturers did not adopt copper wire bonds due to concerns about yield, reliability, throughput, and customer acceptance. In 2006, Jason Chang and Tien Wu of ASE committed to underwrite risk, resolve technical problems, and address customer concerns. Requiring an investment reaching hundreds of millions of dollars with no assurance of success, in 2007 they started working with materials and equipment vendors to establish a supply chain and also with foundries to establish metallurgy for bonding pads compatible with copper wire bonds. In 2009, Chang and Wu had dramatic results with a few selected customers. By 2013, more than half of ASE production was in copper wire bonds and today it exceeds 70 percent. ASE moved copper wire bonds into volume production and the industry benefits. Today, long-term reliability of copper wire bonds exceeds that of gold.


SEMI Award for North America Recipients List